Partial Dentures are a great way to replace missing teeth without the need for oral surgery. They are also less costly than dental implants. In fact, many dental insurance plans cover the cost of partial dentures.
Partial dentures consist of a resin base into which artificial teeth are inserted and are custom-made by dentists using impressions of your mouth structure. There are two types of Partial Dentures, permanent and temporary. The permanent partial is usually fabricated only after the extraction of the damaged or decaying tooth has been completed. This allows the gums to heal in a more controlled manner. The other type of partial denture is a flexible and gum-colored acrylic partial which may be used for short-term tooth replacement immediately after extraction and avoids the potential for irritation and thinning of the soft tissue in the area.
When missing teeth are left untreated, there are several health risks associated with them. They include a loss of bone density, which can affect the strength of adjacent natural teeth. They can also lead to a change in bite (occlusion) which can affect the surrounding teeth and other dental structures in the mouth. Additionally, the gap created by missing teeth can also affect your appearance and make it difficult to chew or speak properly.
Aside from these health risks, individuals who are missing one or more of their teeth may experience a loss of confidence and self-esteem. They may also have difficulty eating and speaking, making social interactions more difficult. Partial dentures can fill the gaps in your smile, restore proper jaw function and reduce the risk of occlusion problems.
The most common type of partial denture is a cast metal partial denture which offers high-quality replacement teeth on a rigid frame made from a lightweight cobalt chromium alloy. This type of partial denture is often recommended for patients who have existing healthy natural teeth that are not in need of dental surgery and prefer a permanent solution to their missing teeth. They are more durable than the flexible acrylic partial and have the advantage of covering less soft tissue in the mouth.
A flexible partial is similar to the acrylic permanent partial but is thinner and is made from a flexible light pink material that allows your gums to show through. The advantage of this type of partial is that it can be more comfortable and fits more tightly into the gum line which helps to reduce movement. It can be easier to adjust to than the acrylic permanent partial and it is often recommended for people who have allergies to acrylic or are concerned about the visibility of the clasps on a fixed permanent denture. However, the disadvantages of a flexible partial can be that it is more likely to break than the cast metal or acrylic partial and they may need frequent adjustment and refitting. Regardless of the type of partial denture you choose, it is important that they are well-maintained and cleaned regularly to prevent them from becoming loose or falling out. They should be rinsed daily in a mild denture cleaning solution or soaked overnight in cool water to keep them moist. They should be removed when sleeping to allow the gums to rest, and they should be brushed at least twice a day with a denture toothbrush to remove plaque and food particles.